As resident doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos, on Thursday embarked on an indefinite strike, the hospital management said shortfall in its allocation led to nonpayment of the doctors’ salaries.
LUTH Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kelechi Otunme, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos while reacting to the doctors’ strike which commenced on Thursday.
NAN reports that ARD President, Dr. Adewale Oba, had, on Wednesday, said the doctors would down tools following the refusal of the management to pay the outstanding three months’ salaries of resident doctors.
Oba said: “It is unfortunate that we had another meeting on Wednesday where we resolved to embark on an indefinite strike, commencing on November 29.
“We want to appeal to the general public, most especially the influential members of the public, to prevail on the management to quickly avert the industrial action.’’
Oba, however, said that all members of the association fully complied with the association’s strike directive.
Otunme said that the three-month outstanding salaries of the resident doctors followed the insufficient allocation earmarked for personnel in the institution’s annual budget.
According to him, LUTH management has engaged the Ministry of Finance and other appropriate ministries to correct this shortfall and efforts have reached an advanced stage to resolve it.
“The management will continue to dialogue with them (resident doctors) and other affected doctors in the hospital to resolve this issue.
“The hospital’s doors remained open for service while discussions and negotiations continue and there may be delay pending the return of the affected workers to work,” he said.
NAN reports that in spite of the indefinite strike embarked upon by ARD members, essential medical services were uninterrupted on Thursday at LUTH.
NAN Correspondent’s visit to the hospital showed that consultants and other categories of health workers, including nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and cleaners were seen attending to the patients.